Drugs seized on PIA flight heading to Saudi Arabia

Serach operation lasted over three hours
Drugs concealed behind a pan in a lavatory are visible; an official shows two packets.
Drugs concealed behind a pan in a lavatory are visible; an official shows two packets.

Narcotics drugs have been recovered from a PIA flight preparing to depart for Saudi Arabia’s Dammam from the Karachi airport.

The search operation to find the drugs lasted several hours as officials from the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and Pakistan Customs followed a tip-off.

They used sniffer dogs to search the Boeing 777 aircraft, which was being used to operate the flight PK9245 Karachi-Dammam.

Boeing 777 is a wide-body airliner and requires a lot of time to be explored.

When a three-hour search did not yield anything, the officials had to call in a special squad of sniffer dogs, SAMAA TV’s Rizwan Alam reported.

The special squad of sniffer dogs was able to find drugs concealed in a lavatory of the aircraft.

Aircraft lied idle for days

The officials have been questioning workers from the ground handling, kitchen, and engineering departments, Alam said.

However, no arrests have been made.

Aviation website history of PIA says the aircraft involved in the incident carried registration number AP-BGJ. It was was inactive at Karachi Airport for some days before returning to duty on September 20 to perform flight PK9245, the website said.

The CEO PIA Air Marshal Arshad Malik has said anyone found involved in the drug smuggling attempt would be taken to task.

Saudi Arabia applies strict punishments for drugs smuggling. Around 43% of the people executed in 2015 had been convicted of smuggling drugs.

World over, airlines face heavy fines if a host country discovers drugs on their aircraft.

Flight PK9245 departs

After the search operation, flight PK9245 was able to depart for Dammam, albeit with a delay.

The flight was scheduled to take off at 945 pm but left at 1049 pm with a delay of one hour and four minutes.

Apparently, ANF and Customs officials launched the search operation hours before the scheduled flight time.




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